Your Guide to the Equinox and New Astrological Year

This article was written by community partner Samantha Melitta of Hands of Mercury

Warmer days are finally on their way, carrying with them fresh cosmic energy set to initiate new chapters in our personal and collective cycles. The arrival of the spring equinox on March 20th in the northern hemisphere heralds the start of a new astrological year in the tropical tradition. Many cultures and spiritual traditions around the world observe this energetic new year and arrival of spring, as seen in Iran with Nowruz festivities, the Celtic tradition of Ostara, and the origins of the Christian celebration of Easter. This equinox is a potent portal into our bold, trailblazing visions for the future, and highlights certain astrological energies stepping center stage for the coming years.

The Significance of the 2023 Spring Equinox

The equinox is a time of equal day and night. We can celebrate this day as a time where duality is suspended, and the balance of light and darkness reflects our inner journey to unite the opposites within us, to look beyond the polarities of our world. Aries season begins on this day, the fiery cardinal sign of the Ram. Aries is an initiator, the sign of the sacred warrior ready to fight for honorable change. This energy asks us to be bold, fearless, and to work with a healthy sense of competition that quickens innovation and progress. 

The spring equinox of 2023 coincides with an Aries new moon igniting on March 21st at 10:23am PST. New moons are a time of planting new seeds and opening oneself to incoming ideas. This new moon is at 0°, considered a critical degree highlighting a pure and powerful beginning forming in the sign of Aries. Furthermore, in some ways this marks the initiation into the Aries/Libra eclipse series, as we will have a rare second new moon and partial solar eclipse in the sign of Aries on April 19th at 9:12pm PST. This new moon will be at the critical and anaretic degree of 29° of Aries. The 29th degree is considered a degree of fate in astrology; it can act as a pressure point and fullest expression of the sign. These two new moons are highlighting the alpha and omega of the sign of Aries, the entire journey we can take in the sign that sparks the self, the initiation into life, and the fight from survival to success. 

The sign of Aries plays a key role in this next astrological year and beyond. Chiron has been setting the stage here since 2018, highlighting wounds around our physical performance and willpower. This past year, Jupiter has been expanding the positive and most hopeful aspects of the Aries sector of our natal chart. The incoming eclipse activations upend the status quo in the Aries Libra axis of our charts until March 2025. Think we’re finished? Not quite. The day after our last Aries eclipse in March 2025, Neptune will move into Aries to stay until 2039 and Saturn will join shortly after in May. Collectively, we will be navigating lessons surrounding war and peace, conflict and diplomacy. Saturn in Aries may come to highlight the lasting consequences of war and violence, and the need for order and restrictions regarding war and weapons of war. On a positive note, we can use this energy to come into our personal power and release hesitation around our creative visions and goals. Understanding the part of your natal chart that houses Aries, the planets in that house, and your natal Mars will be paramount to integrating the lessons and events coming forward. This incoming equinox is the perfect time to set intention, visualize, and commune in sacred ritual to honor this new cycle of time. 

More details on how to join our virtual equinox celebration below.  

Key Transits of The New Astrological Year

Saturn in Pisces: March 7, 2023 – February 13th, 2026

Saturn recently moved into the oceanic sign of Pisces, set to restructure our spiritual practices, our relationship to substances, and regulations surrounding water as a resource for the next 2.5 years. There may be some sweet relief with the departure of Saturn from its home signs of Capricorn and Aquarius the last five years, where it had full range of its harsher qualities. You can read more on this shift in my previous CCG article here.

Pluto in Aquarius: March 23rd – June 11th, 2022 |January 20, 2024 – September 1, 2024 

Pluto arrives in Aquarius shortly after the equinox, heralding revolutionary waves during its twenty-year transit in the sign of the humanitarian. Over the course of the next eighteen months, Pluto will dance over the last degree of Capricorn and the first degree of Aquarius. It’s interesting to note the financial and mortgage crisis that coincided with the ingress of Pluto in Capricorn in 2008. Now at the final degree of Capricorn, we are seeing another financial crisis erupt with the news surrounding Silicon Valley Bank

Pluto in Aquarius can signify a time where power is taken back by the people from the ruling class. We can look back in history for clues surrounding this transit. Pluto moved through this sign last from 1778 – 1798, sparking revolutions around the world including the infamous French Revolution. It’s prior stint in Aquarius coincided with the Protestant Reformation sweeping across Europe, giving religious power back to the people from the Vatican.  

Pluto will continue to bring transformative, authentic energy to the house that Aquarius occupies in your chart now that Saturn has left. By the end of this transit, you will have a whole new way of relating to this house because Pluto can show us the extremes of whatever zodiac sign it is occupying at a given time. By facing the fears and triggers Pluto brings forth, we ultimately access more of our raw power and strength.

Jupiter in Taurus: May 16, 2023 – May 24, 2024

Jupiter frolics in the flower fields of Taurus, expanding our sense of abundance and our connection to nature and pleasure. Jupiter here enjoys the sensual delights of good food and great company. Jupiter in Taurus can expand agriculture, crop yields, and may inspire us to cultivate our own garden project or interest in herbalism. The other side of the coin, Jupiter in Taurus can create an increase in price of our natural resources such as food and gas. The best way to work with Jupiter during this time is to work slow and steady, to align with the cycles of nature for work and rest. The last time we experienced Jupiter in Taurus was June 2011 – June 2012, so you can reflect on that time and the themes surrounding the Taurus house of your natal chart. 

Venus Rx in Leo: July 22 – September 3, 2023

Hot girl summer may run into some drama or an ex-lover when Venus goes retrograde from July 22nd to September 3rd. When Venus goes retrograde, we can utilize the time by going inward and assessing our relationship standards and artistic goals. We may also be confronted with past partners or past relationship dynamics coming around again. Have you learned the lessons that your heart has been trying to teach you? You can think back to the last Venus Rx we had in Capricorn December 2021- January 2022 for more context and clues. We can also find insight from the last Venus Rx in Leo that occurred July 25 – September 6, 2015. This is a wonderful time to work artistically behind the scenes in order to present post-retrograde. Hold off on marriage proposals and major wardrobe or aesthetic changes until after this transit. 

Are you already feeling these incoming shifts? This is set to be a powerful year of new frontiers, asking us to work with the wisdom we accrued during the intensity and isolation of the pandemic. This year solidifies that we will not be going back to the way things were, for better or worse. The cosmos remind us that the only constant is change, yet we get to revisit themes, lessons, and people upon the great spiral of life. 

You are cordially invited to the Virtual Equinox Celebration on Tuesday March 22nd 6:15pm PST. We will be gathering to honor this sacred cycle of time, working with powerful tools geared towards our personal and collective transformation, as well as the sacred plant medicine cacao. 

Curious about how these upcoming transits interact with your natal chart? Samantha offers 1:1 Astrological Consultations to dive into your natal chart, current transits, locational astrology, and more. More info at For questions, please reach out at

More about the Author:

Samantha created Hands of Mercury out of her passion for the power of storytelling and intentional gathering to inspire personal growth and collective progress. Her mission is to provide personal and group offerings as a multi-disciplinary guide and facilitator for deeper self-inquiry and earth-focused community healing. She has been studying Western Astrology with a Hellenistic focus since 2015. She is a Reiki III practitioner with study through Santa Monica College and Minka Brooklyn, as well as a cacao ceremonialist under the guidance and initiation of Mayan wisdom keepers Tata Izaias and Nana Izabel of San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala.

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